My name is Alexander Falchion. I am a teenager and I have amnesia. Yesterday, I woke up on an island with eight other people. Today, that number is seven. “Oh my god!” screamed a woman, clutching a dead body. The woman’s name was Ashley Courtain, she was in her late 40’s and was a housewife. The body she clutched was her mother, Deborah Galatine. Deborah’s head was punctured violently on the left side, congealed blood matting her white hair, and dried blood streams running through her wrinkles. The blood pool reached down to her collar, leaving stains colored richly like sangria wine. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the gore. Around me, the other six either stared in silent horror or attempted to console Ashley. She reeled in anguish and threw off sympathetic hands. She spat curses and screamed incoherently, unwilling to resign to calm. Her rage roared, hissed, whimpered, and finally subsided to quiet sorrow. Sylvia Almacia, a college student, quietly led her away to camp. Following her was Noelle Harpe, who stole a glance in my direction. The silence lasted for a long moment. “…who could have done this?” asked a man with red hair. His name was Arthur Ridill; he was a postman. His voice was filled with fear. Another silence followed. We were all thinking the same thing, but no one wanted to say it. Eyes began to wander. Another man spoke up. “I’d like to think that this wasn’t one of us… and from the looks of it, I’m sure you all agree,” said a man with dark skin. He was Michael Clarent, a surgeon. “Could it have been something like a tribe? Or maybe whoever brought us here?” His question alleviated some of the tension. Everyone began to think that there must be some outside danger; no one of the group was this cruel. The men broke into chatter as we returned to camp, bringing Deborah’s body with us. When we returned, she was buried in the forest to the north of camp. We sat around in a circle, quiet and solemn. The dead must be mourned. Soon, the day slipped into night. No one talked much; it was too uncomfortable. As night sank in, so did sleep. Soundlessly, we fell into the blackness of sleep. The next morning, we broke the silence by planning for the day’s survival. Someone needed to look for food and water; the lifeboat we found with us had only meager amounts. The lifeboat offered very little; something Sylvia thought strange. She had recently written a paper on maritime search and rescue, and told us that these bright orange boats usually contained far more resources to aid in rescue and survival. She thought the boat must’ve been placed there on purpose. We picked a group to head out into the forest. I was the first to be chosen. Next was a man named Guy Murgleys, an unemployed office worker, and Evan Gram, another college student. Sylvia offered to come, but we told her to look after Ashley, who was still shaken by her mother’s death. After grabbing whatever equipment we could use, we headed off into the hot forest. We left a trail of sand behind us as we progressed. We had been walking for a few hours when suddenly, everything faded to black. I awoke at camp again, more bandages around my head. My clothes were soaked with blood, and my head was throbbing. In my scrambled thoughts, I wondered if the blood was my own. Michael was sitting across from me, and soon noticed my consciousness. “Alex! Alex, what happened?” he asked me. My vision was blurry. “I’m not sure… all I remember is blacking out…” I muttered in a slow voice. “Evan’s dead. Guy vanished. We found Evan’s corpse on top of you, slashed with a machete. That’s gone too,” he told me with a frown on his face. I was shocked. “If that wasn’t enough, Ashley tried to kill herself.” Unsure of how to respond, I laid in silence. He seemed to understand. “Michael… my head’s throbbing,” I said uncomfortably. “I think someone hit you in the head. You don’t have any other damage that I know of…” he said, trailing off. Reluctantly, he added, “It had to have been Evan or Guy. They would’ve known you already had a head injury and might have thought they could kill you with just that.” Michael walked away, leaving me to my thoughts. I sighed, and sat up, leaning against a rock. It was awful. Why is it that… no matter what strides we make as humans, we still remain so feral in danger? My brain didn’t want to accept it. I looked around camp, trying to distract my thoughts. Arthur was sitting quietly near the fire, looking confused. Sylvia was with Ashley, who seemed just as upset as yesterday. Noelle sat next to the two women, looking in my direction. She seemed worried. Noelle looked like she was my age. I remember her saying she was in high school. I waved to her, and beckoned for her to come over. She seemed a bit taken aback by it, but soon came over. “Hey,” I said to her. She sat down, but didn’t respond. “Are you afraid?” I asked her. She nodded her head, opened her mouth to speak, but stopped. She seemed to decide what she was going to say. “I’ve… never seen a dead person before,” she whispered. “I don’t know why I’m here or how I got here… I miss my family and friends.” “I wish I knew who to miss,” I said, half joking and half serious. She took it the wrong way. “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-” “No, it’s okay, I was just making conversation.” We hit an awkward lull. “You know… I feel like I’ve met you before,” Noelle said. Morning came again. Spirits were low, and Ashley wasn’t doing very well. We were all growing weaker from our meager intake. Stress weaved through us like a python, the fangs eager to grab the throat. Too much needed to be done. “Alright… I’m going to look for Guy,” Michael announced. “We have to find him. He could be a danger. If not, then we can get the real story from him.” Michael was met with much protest, people asking him not to leave or telling him he’d be killed. Part of me felt guilty. If I hadn’t let my guard down, then maybe things would have turned out differently. “I’ll go too,” I said, “We have a better chance with two of us.” “Look, you’re young. You have a long life ahead of you, if you can get off this island. But, me… I’m old.” “I’m going,” I repeated, firmly. Michael stared for a moment, and sighed. “Let’s go.” Sometime past noon, guessing from the sun, we were heading out of the forest when I caught sight of someone. I whispered to Michael, and he nodded. Carefully, we emerged onto the beach. Guy was sitting, facing the water, with the machete plunged into the sand. Michael approaching him. “Guy. Are you okay? What happened?” he asked as calmly as he could. “We’ve been looking for you. Everyone’s worried.” Guy whirled his head around, and his eyes widened. “You! You!” he shouted, raising quickly to his feet and tearing the machete from the ground. He began to approach us. “What are you doing?!” Michael shouted back. “It’s him, Michael! It’s his fault!” he yelled, pointing the machete at me. “He killed Evan! He tried to kill me, too!” “Are you insane?! He’s only a kid! He was knocked out!” “He tricked you! I don’t know how, but he tricked you!” Guy exclaimed. He began to run for me, blade first. In a matter of seconds, I was knocked out of the way. I fell face-first into the sand, and quickly turned around. Guy had stabbed Michael in the side, and Michael was trying to take control of the sword. With great force, Michael managed to knock back Guy, and withdrew the blade from his hip, cringing in pain. Blood gushed from the wound as he ran at Guy, finally plunging the sword into its former bearer. Guy stumbled backward and fell into the sand. Michael stood panting, his shirt and pants soaked red. He approached Guy’s body and withdrew the machete. He closed his eyes, trying to fight off pain, shock, horror, and exhaustion. “Michael…” I said weakly. Michael glanced at me and beckoned. I came over, and he instructed me to help lift Guy’s body. He squinted his eyes from pain as we heaved the man’s body. “I can carry him… you just worry about your wound.” We reached camp soon, and Michael finally collapsed. He lay down on a blanket from the lifeboat as Sylvia tried to help him. She frantically raided the first aid kit, using whatever she thought would help. Only a few minutes later, Michael died. Sylvia began to cry helplessly. “He’s gone…” The next morning was just as bad as the others. We awoke to find that Ashley committed suicide in the night. There were only four of us left, now. Sylvia could only cry, and Arthur barely talked. Myself and Noelle weren’t very talkative, either. That day, we did the bare minimum to get by. Arthur spent a lot of his time staring into the empty fire pit, looking broken. “I’m going for a walk,” Noelle meekly declared. As she turned to leave, I got up. “I’ll come with you,” I said, following her. We walked along the beach for a while, saying nothing. The sun seemed to move with us, watching us. It felt as if we were at the end of the world. Nothing seemed real, anymore. As mute as before, we began to head back to the camp. We couldn’t believe what we saw when we returned. “Alex, Noelle…” Arthur muttered in a rough tone. His clothes were splattered with blood, and Sylvia’s corpse lay in front of him, her body torn with gashes. She was flooded with blood, and it seeped into the sand below her. “…I couldn’t trust her. Deborah and Ashley- it must’ve been her fault. I’m sure she did it. I had to kill her. We weren’t safe anymore, you know.” He stared into his muddled reflection in the blood-covered machete. Too many times had that blade seen blood. He seemed to be searching for something in the crude mirror. “Oh my god, you monster!” screamed Noelle. She was horrified. I was more shocked than anything. I couldn’t believe that the once timid Arthur was now such a beast. My mind couldn’t get around it. “What…” I managed to get out. “But, now, there’s a problem. Neither of you are going to trust me anymore, are you? I guess I can understand that, but I can’t have you two trying to kill me. I’m sorry. I’m sure you understand, too, right?” Arthur spoke, as if he were playing some sort of game. He walked slowly towards me, the machete dripping with Sylvia’s blood. Noelle and I both backed away. He then rushed for me; I was reminded of Guy. This time, I focused. “No!” screamed Noelle, leaping for Arthur. She grabbed at his hand, and he tried to throw her off. I was stunned. Bursting with a sudden surge of power, Noelle ripped the machete from his hands and stabbed him. She immediately lost her grip of the blade, and looked at Arthur in horror. I couldn’t be sure if I was more terrified or relieved. Finally, I said, “Thank you” in a hushed voice. Everything was slipping out of view and faded to black again. For the last time, I awoke. At first, no one was around. I was on the beach, a little ways off from camp. I got to my feet wearily, and walked towards camp. I stopped in place. Everyone was dead. Everyone but me. I panicked, and lost control of my thoughts. How? Why?
“So, what are you, anyways?” Maddox asked, bluntly.
“Kismetics are similar to your race. However, we have much more complex brains, among other bodily structures. We are not a very well known race, as most of us do not leave Kismet. It is actually forbidden, in some areas.” Raza told him. They were similar, at least in appearance. Raza’s skin was dark, a bronze sort of color, and her build was much like a teenage woman’s. However, some of her features were a little more eccentric. She had purple hair, rich like wine, coiled into dreadlocks, and a scar-like mark over her left eye. She was dressed in black, white, and red, looking as if she might make a fitting Mrs. Claus.
“So… like… are you female?” he asked uncertainly. He always found it difficult to ask aliens these things.
“By your species’ definition, basically.” she responded. “Do not worry, we are very similar to your species. Now! What are we doing?”
“Uh. Well. I am going to go scout my next bounty.” Maddox said, awkwardly.
“I guess?” he answered. Raza’s enthusiasm threw him off.
“So what do we do?” she asked him, excitedly.
“Well, I am going to a dinner party. You are going to wait in the hangar.” Maddox replied, starting to become irked by his tagalong.
“Ah! Well. That sounds fun.” she chimed.
“You really like hangars that much?” he muttered to himself.
“What does this do?” she said, pointing at one of the screens.
“I thought you were super duper intelligent or something.”
“I only read your culture and background.”
“Fine; that’s the climate control.”
“Neat! What about this?”
“Can you just stop asking me things? I am trying to operate the ship, and you’re really distracting me.” Maddox spat out, becoming more aggravated.
“Okay!” she complied. She sat quietly, looking around the cockpit with interest. Her eyes moved from panel to panel, examining buttons and touch screens. She eventually began to search the cabinets.
“God, what are you doing now?”
“I’m looking for a manual!”
“I want to learn how this ship works.”
“Get your own ship. Learn how that one works.” he growled. Raza promptly stopped, still in her cheerful mood. Eventually she got up and examined the magpies in their cage. Maddox had a feeling this was going to be a very long trip.
A young man, probably somewhere in his twenties, walked down the stretch of metal walkway in the hangar. His eyes watched the smooth surface of the spacecraft to his right, running along through the letters that spelled out “Paragon”. In his hands, he absent-mindedly played with a plastic card. The card read, “Orion Maddox; Race: Martian humanoid; Age: 15 (Martian years); Martian Region Bounty Hunter; Rank Delta; Home: K-79φ, Iani Chaos, Ares Vallis, Mars.”
He was very tall, for a human. His hair was blue, like the Earth sky, and his eyes were yellow like a cat’s. His skin was rather pale, and his ears were pointed. On top of his head were some blue-tinted goggles. His outfit was somewhat eccentric, consisting of only black and white. Still gazing at the ship, he finally slid the card into his pocket, and began to play with his fingers instead. He stuck his hands into his pockets, changed his mind, began to play with his coat tails, and again changed his mind. He wasn’t the sort of person who could remain still.
Soon he reached the door, but he stopped before he entered. He turned around, looking behind him to see if anyone had followed. His eyes searched, and finally he entered the ship’s door. Following entrance routine, he logged onto his financial computer and examined his balance. Good, he thought. They deposited my payment. He was off for the cockpit. Upon entering, he powered up the computers and examined the controls. He was greeted by the chatter of his pet magpies, Phobos and Deimos. Taking their calls as the usual welcomes, he began to prepare to exit the dock.
“Hello Martian!” piped a cheerful voice on his right. Confused, Maddox quickly snapped his head around.
“Who are you and how did you get in here?!” he nearly screamed at the intruder.
“Ah, sorry. I am Raza. I am from the planet Kismet. I followed you in.”
“That’s impossible, I looked behind me!”
“That doesn’t matter, anyways! I am here only for educational purposes. I will be of no interference. You do not need to concern yourself with me.”
“Like hell I won’t! You’re getting out of this ship; now!” he shouted.
“Please! I am not here to cause you any trouble. As I have said-”
“I don’t care what you said or why you’re here! You will be nothing but trouble, so, you’ll be getting out. How do you know my language anyways?”
“We Kismetics have highly-advanced brains and are capable of learning through, what your civilization might call, ‘telekinesis’. It is far more complicated than your language is capable of explaining.”
“…okay. Well. I guess you could be useful. You’re lucky. Because I’m lucky today,” he said to Raza. He was a little shocked, but he trusted his luck. It had gotten him through a lot of things, so far.
Entry 1: My name is Leonard Bean. No one understands me. Everyone at school makes fun of me because I wear butterfly wings and antennae. I am a butterfly! I don’t care what anyone else says! I know I am right. I lost one of my favorite CD’s today. Then I couldn’t find my razor blade. Puppy peed on my carpet. This is the worst day ever. Entry 2: Gothic Dan laughed at me for saying “frisblee” instead of “frisbee.” I can’t believe him. He always does this to me. I make one little mistake and he’s all over me for it. I hate him. He’s such a stupid jerk. And why does everybody like him?! I’m way cooler than he is! And you know what else? My mother thinks I’m fat! I can’t believe her! She accused me of eating her food. She doesn’t even care about me. No one does. Entry 3: Today, at school, Biff punched me in the face so hard that my nose broke. Dan didn’t even do anything to help me. He just complained that I got blood on his pants. I can’t believe him. God! Everyone hates me! It’s not fair! I was just trying to defend Green Day, and I get punched in the face! Biff should be the one in the hospital for severe blood loss! Not me! Nobody understands me! Entry 4: I hate hospital food. I hate food. Eating is stupid. Entry 5: It’s been a week since Biff broke my nose. I don’t have to wear anything anymore. But, get this. Today, I run over to Megan to say hello. She opens her locker, and I run face-first into it. My nose broke again and I have to go to the hospital again. My life is awful. Entry 6: Really. I hate food. Entry 7: My mother grounded me. This isn’t fair. So what if I tried to kill myself?! I can’t die anyways. Why am I so cursed?! It’s not my fault my iPod broke. Dan and I were going to go to the movies, too. They’re showing a new Tim Burton movie. Now I won’t get to see it. Life is so unfair. Entry 8: Mrs. Android Space Commander Galaxia made fun of me during Space Latin today. She’s so cruel. Why should I care about astroverbs if I’m suffering from heartbreak?! I fell in love again, though. But she’s taken. It’s so awful. Fate mocks me! And another thing! Dan didn’t put me in his top eight on MySpace! I hate him! Arghhhh! Entry 9: Marvin is an idiot. His plans never work. Now everyone hates me even more. I wish I wasn’t immortal. I never get what I want. Entry 10: I hate Puppy. Stupid dog. All he ever does is pee on me. I thought he was worried about me. I bet he just wanted food. He only comes to me if he wants food. How can a dog that small possibly eat that much?! Food isn’t even good! His is probably worse! Entry 11: I’m so excited! I got a brand new iPod today! It’s so awesome! I just love how Apple designs their products. So cool-looking. I can’t wait to show everyone. Entry 12: I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN! This is just RIDICULOUS! Right when I get my new iPod, they release a brand new model the next day! How can they possibly get away with that! It’s even cheaper, and it holds even more, and it’s NOT FAIR! Steve Jobs is a jerk! And what’s with that stupid shiny white plastic they use anyways?! It’s so lame and gimmicky! Everyone who has an iPod is a stupid poser! Entry 13: I am so angry! I hate absolutely everyone! I went out to the store and bought a Nintendo Wii, along with Zelda. I play for a few hours, then I get up to go to the bathroom. And someone calls me on the phone. It’s a prank phone call, and it’s Dan! I can’t believe he would do that to me! If that wasn’t enough, I get back to my room and Chester’s there. He EXPLODED my Wii! I don’t even understand how he could have possibly done that, but he did it! I hate him so much! He’s a little IDIOT! I hate my life! Entry 14: I’m in love! Totally in love! I met this girl the other day, she’s so amazing! I’ve learned about her. She likes cats, comic books, video games, purple, and she is so pretty. She is totally awesome. I told Dan about her, and he claimed I was a stalker. I am not a stalker! I am a feminine enthusiast! There is a difference! Dan doesn’t know anything. He thinks love is making out with a drunk girl at a kegger. True love is beyond his comprehension! Entry 15: I spilled some milk on the floor. Oh my god! Entry 16: I had the worst nightmare last night. The whole world turned into candy. Ugh. I couldn’t even make a proper noose, since all the rope was licorice. I would never want to live in Candy Land. Entry 17: I tried to join the League of Extraordinary Emos today. They burned my poetry. I cried for an hour. Donovan is a stupid jerk and I hate him. Entry 18: I hate everyone. My band played the talent show; we were booed off the stage. Then Donovan plays Guitar Hero, and everyone loves him. Life isn’t fair.
A bit of something I started to consider today: side stories about other demons. Could be interesting. Not much to the thought yet, but I'm considering making Zeke (very very new character) a side story character.